A recent report by the Institute of Medicine indicates that diagnostic medical errors are much more common than people think. In fact, the report concludes that most people will experience at least one incorrect or delayed diagnosis during the course of their lifetime.
By one estimate, one in 20 adults seeking outpatient care receives a misdiagnosis each year. According to the report, medical providers are not required to report diagnostic errors. As a result, the report concludes that medical misdiagnosis has received far too little publicity, and immediate improvements are needed to reduce the risk of being improperly or belatedly diagnosed. The report offers recommendations for reducing diagnostic errors. One is better communication between a patient’s multiple health care providers. Another suggests that patients should not be afraid to ask questions of their doctors and be proactive in their medical care.
Medical Misdiagnosis Is Only One Type of Medical Malpractice
When health care providers make errors in the treatment of their patients, these errors can be classified as medical negligence. Another term for medical negligence is medical malpractice. There are many types of medical malpractice.